When the weather is cooling off, you are probably wondering about how you’ll take full advantage of your heating and cooling. After all, HVAC costs frequently make up a large chunk of your monthly electric bill. To learn new ways to reduce costs, some owners look closely at their thermostat. Could there be a setting they could use to improve efficiency?

Most thermostats include both a ‘Fan’ or ‘Fan On’ setting. But if the fan is running during a regular cycle, what does the fan setting provide for your HVAC system? This guide will help. We’ll walk through what exactly the fan setting is and whether you can use it to save money in the summer or winter.

Should I Use My Thermostat’s Fan Setting?

For the bulk of thermostats, the fan setting means that the air handler’s blower fan remains on. Certain furnaces may continue to run at a low level with this setting, but in most cases heating or cooling isn’t being produced. The ‘Auto’ setting, on the other hand, will run the fan during a heating or cooling cycle and switch it off after the cycle is over.

There are pros and cons to trying the fan setting on your thermostat, and what’s ideal {will|can|should]] depend on your personal comfort requirements.

Advantages to utilizing the Fan/On setting:

  • You can keep the temperature throughout your home more uniform by allowing the fan to keep generating airflow.
  • Indoor air quality should improve since continuous airflow will keep forcing airborne contaminants through the air filter.
  • A smaller amount of start-stop cycles for the system’s fan helps extend its life span. Since the air handler is usually a component of the furnace, this means you can minimize the risk of needing furnace repair.

Disadvantages to using the Fan/On setting:

  • A constant fan will likely increase your energy bills slightly.
  • Nonstop airflow may clog your air filter up more quickly, increasing the frequency you should replace it.

{Choosing Between|Should My Thermostat Be on|Which Setting for My Thermostat? Fan or Auto in Each Season

In the summer, warm air may linger in unfinished spaces such as the attic or an attached garage. If you leave the fan on, your HVAC system can gradually move this warm air into the rest of your home, compelling the HVAC system to work more to maintain the set temperature. In extreme heat, this could result in needing AC repair more quickly as wear and tear gets worse.

The reverse can occur in the winter. Cooler spaces such as a basement will hold onto cooler air, which will eventually drift into the rest of your home. Leaving the fan running may pull more cold air upward, increasing the amount of heating you need to stay warm.

If you’re still trying to decide if you should use the fan/on setting, keep in mind that every home and family’s comfort needs are not the same. Leaving the HVAC system’s fan on might be best for you if:

Someone in your household has allergies. Allergies and similar respiratory conditions can be stressful on the family. Leaving the fan on is more likely to enhance indoor air quality, helping your family breathe easier.

Your home has hot and cold spots. Lots of homes deal with persistent hot and cold spots that quickly evolve to a temperature different from the rest of the house. The fan setting can help lessen these changes by consistently refreshing each room’s supply of air.